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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
Thus Mary attaches a special value to the recitation of the Angelical Salutation, and she takes infinite pleasure in hearing it addressed to Herself. This is what She revealed to St. Mechtilda when She told her that of all the tributes that can be paid to Her, there is none that pleases Her more, nor causes Her greater joy than the repetition of this prayer, and that these words: Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, etc.; that these words remind Her of Her own love for the Lord, and of the love of God. These words remind Her of Her obligation to have compassion on poor sinners, to love them and to pray for them, because they were the occasion of Her happiness. “For, She added, I would not have found grace if they had not lost it; I would not have been the Mother of their Savior if it had not been necessary to save them; finally, I would not have received this superabundance of graces if it had not been necessary for Me to be the Mother of mercy and the refuge of poor sinners.
Not only does the recitation of the Hail Mary bring joy to Mary, but it also brings joy to the Angels and Saints in heaven. Blessed Alain states that the words of this prayer make all heaven tremble with happiness and joy. The Angels themselves find a special joy in offering to Mary millions and millions of times a Hail Mary, which is the proper greeting of these blessed spirits. Since this admirable prayer so delightfully rejoices all of heaven, and is also a source of graces for the faithful soul, it is a source of terror to the demons, who flee as soon as they hear it pronounced. When the Hail Mary was brought from heaven by an angel, the earth leapt with joy and gave signs of its delight at the approach of its freedom. But, as if all hell and the devils had already felt the formidable presence of the Almighty who was to ruin their empire, they trembled with fear and were frightened at the pronouncement of the Hail Mary which, since that blessed time, has always had a marvelous power to break all their efforts. There is no longer any reason to be surprised if the impious who are in the party of these cursed spirits follow their sentiments and have a great opposition to everything that touches the mystery of the Incarnation, if they speak only with contempt of the rosary and of the devotion to the Holy Virgin. On the other hand, experience shows that those who have great signs of predestination love, enjoy and recite the Ave Maria with delight. And the more they are to God, the more they love this prayer. I have no better secret, said St. Louis Marie de Montfort, to know if a person is of God, than to examine if he likes to say the Hail Mary or the Rosary.”
Let us be happy and proud to say it again after the Angel, after the Apostles, after the Martyrs and all the Christian centuries. May it be sweet to our lips, even sweeter to our hearts, this Hail Mary, which comes to us all perfumed, like a canticle from heaven, repeated by as many echoes as it has passed from holy souls on earth.
To greet a queen is a rare and envied favor here on earth: well, every day, at any hour, the poor old man, the humble woman, the little child can come to greet the Queen of heaven and earth, She who carries all the treasures of God in Her hands, sure to be always well received, sure that to each of their homage She will answer with a benefit…
But will the guilty party dare to come? Oh yes, let him come too, let him greet Her with humble confidence. His voice will not offend Her, and if he puts the accent of grief on it, if his Hail Mary is a cry of repentance, his prayer will be all-powerful. His prayer will not come down without bringing mercy and forgiveness. So many prodigies have proved it: the Hail Mary is also the prayer of sinners, and perhaps their only prayer. Among them there are, alas, some who have forgotten or at least neglected to recite their other prayers, but they still know how to recite the Hail Mary! In the midst of the wreckage of other religious practices, the Hail Mary stands out for them as a lifeline… How many poor shipwrecked people have been brought back to port by this precious plank!!!
I salute You, Mary: Ave Maria!… Sweet and beautiful word that Heaven sent to the earth and that the earth, in its turn, frequently sends to Heaven.
The Hail Mary is everyone’s prayer: if a child begins to stammer, he will be seen, on his knees and with folded hands, saying his Hail Mary... If the old man is so exhausted by age, infirmity and illness that he can no longer recite other prayers, well, he will still have the strength and consolation of saying the Hail Mary. The Hail Mary is the favorite prayer of pious souls. Every day and several times a day, this prayer escapes from their hearts like a bright flame, and rises like pure incense to the throne of Mary.